Clinique's Choco-latte quad has been in my stash for years. Literally. I think I bought it in 2008? It had been on my swap list since 2009. About a month ago, for whatever reason, I decided to remove it, and try it out. I mean, I've changed a bit in the last 2 years, maybe this palette did too, right? (I know, I know... pressed powders don't change.)
This palette completely made me rethink what I have on my swap list. Really. I've worn it 10 times in the last month, which is kind of crazy. I mean, it's just 4 neutral shades thrown together in seemingly random order (not lightest to darkest, like most palettes).
I like the packaging of Clinique palettes, because they almost always make the back of them clear, so you can see the colors. The lucite doesn't really provide a true rendering of the color, but you get the jist of it. It's also unique, because I can't think of anyone else who does this.
The lightest shade (furthest right), is a very delicate, light, almost matte eggshell color. Perfect for highlighting, because it doesn't scream highlight when worn. The darkest color is a little chalky when swatched, but that doesn't translate to the lid. It's a matte, chocolate brown. The next shade is a light taupe, but it has a bit of gold in it. This shade is fairly pigmented. The last shade is a decidedly warm, mid-toned brown with decent pigmentation.
I typically wear the taupey shadow on my lid, the warm brown in the crease with a smidge of the darker brown for definition, and the lightest shade to highlight.
Most of the Clinique shadows I've come across are soft but not too soft, pigmented but not too pigmented, if you understand. They're sort of... mediocre, I guess. But that has such a bad connotation to it, and I hate to use that term, because Clinique shadows aren't bad. I really like to work with them, but the line as a whole isn't terrible exciting. For most cosmetic mavens, Clinique is the catalyst to their makeup addiction. It's where they begin, and once they move on, they don't look back. I like that Clinique shadows are of medium softness - there isn't a ton of powdery leftovers after my brush has left the surface of shadow, if you follow me. I guess Clinique is like that trusty, comfortable pair of old shoes. They do the job of protecting my feet, my friends may kind of hate them, but I can't think of leaving them behind. I think if Clinique made a little effort, they would become a little more trendy, and wouldn't be trashed by Makeupalley and others. Interesting point, though, Clinique is one of the best selling brands under the Estee Lauder umbrella. I think the gift with purchases help.
Clinique quads retail for $25.50, which is a fair price. For your money, you get 4.8 grams (0.16 oz) of product. That's almost the equivalent of 4 MAC shadows. Like with any line, there are some wonderful and some serviceable textures. But, I really like this quad. I feel it accentuates the green in my eyes, and it represents a very good value.